Japan’s National Tourism Organization opens first Middle East office in Dubai

Japan’s National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has opened its office in Dubai, its first overseas presence in the Middle East.

By 2030, Japan aims to attract 60 million visitors with an annual consumption of 15 trillion JPY.

In 2019, Japan saw a record number of visitors from GCC countries with 28,222 visitors to the Asian country, an increase of 28.4% from the previous year and double the last five years.

According to a survey conducted by JNTO in six GCC countries from May to June 2021, around 30% of those polled said they would like to visit Japan in the future. Shopping, staying in resorts and hotels, and enjoying the abundant nature were ranked among the most popular reasons they wanted to travel to Japan.

Almost 40 percent of those polled replied that “I don’t know much about Japan”.

The JNTO office in Dubai was established to increase demand and awareness of Japan as a key tourist destination.

“2022 is an important year for us, being the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United Arab Emirates. By opening the JNTO office in Dubai now, we aim to contribute to the development of tourism exchanges between Japan, the United Arab Emirates and the GCC at large, ”said Tomoko Kikuchi, Executive Director of the JNTO office in Dubai.

“At the Arabian Travel Market Hybrid event held in May of this year, I was pleased to hear from many travel companies that they were eager to resume their trips to Japan.”

The Japan pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai drew several visitors and often long lines of people waiting to enter the pavilion. The architecture of the pavilion is a three-dimensional expression of Japanese origami combining traditional arabesque and Japanese asanohamotifs, as well as a natural cooling system incorporating Arabic and Japanese techniques.

The next edition of the Expo will be held in Osaka, Kansai, Japan. “JNTO will organize an event at the Expo to promote tourism in the country in collaboration with the Japan Pavilion as well as with the authorities of Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City,” Kikuchi added.

The value of Japanese direct investment in the United Arab Emirates since the start of 2020 has totaled $ 4.01 billion, growing 22.6% from 2015 to 2020. Japan is ranked tenth globally among the list of country investing in the United Arab Emirates, and eighth globally in terms of non-oil trade, which reached $ 8.95 billion in the first ten months of 2020.

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